The National Football League has and probably always will be a “flavor of the month”-type league. And when it comes to hiring head coaches, that theory certainly rings true. This past offseason, the league saw eight teams make new hires. Six of those teams hired what many football people like to call offensive “gurus”, “quarterback whisperers”, or, I don’t know, just downright boy geniuses. Sure they are.
Three of these new geniuses/gurus/whisperers are 40 or younger.
Which brings us back to the Chargers. When the team fired Mike McCoy on New Year’s Day in 2017, many no doubt were hoping for a “splash” hire. After all, with McCoy gone and any number of revolutionary whiz kids available for the taking, why wouldn’t you hire one of these brilliant minds?
Or maybe, just maybe, when the team hired Lynn they simply hired the best man for the job. Yeah, you know, a guy who worked his tail off toiling in a hundred different places, a couple of years here, a couple more there. And no doubt building a reputation along the way as someone who knew what he was doing on the practice field and in the meeting and film rooms.
When you play in the league for six years (including back-to-back Super Bowl championships with the Denver Broncos) and spend the next 16 coaching in it, including working under Super Bowl coaches Mike Shanahan and Bill Parcells, you probably have a pretty good grasp of what NFL football is all about.
And make no mistake, pro football players respect men who have been there and done that. I’m not sure you can say the same about the wunderkinds getting hired left and right lately.
So was Anthony Lynn the right hire for the Chargers? Yes, I’d say he was. After a 9-7 first season, the team ended a 5-year playoff drought, manhandling rookie QB Lamar Jackson and the Ravens before, of course, being knocked out by you-know-who in the divisional round the next week.
What is the point of all this, you ask? Nothing much, nothing special, really. It’s just one writer’s attempt to bring a little perspective to the hysteria in the NFL these days when it comes to hiring coaches. Do you get as giddy as a schoolgirl at the thought of hiring some thirtysomething whose only real accomplishment was getting hired and working under another thirtysomething who happened to have a couple of years of success in the league?
Or do you hire someone who, well, you know, has actual experience?
Anthony Lynn is perfect for the Chargers.